Switzerland top spot for expats

HONG KONG, 15 July 2019: An improved quality of life alongside impressive pay and swift career progression means Switzerland is now expats’ favourite global destination to live and work according to the latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey.

While it is not a tourism-related survey, a country’s strengths demonstrated in the research suggest if expats are attracted to the destination for lifestyle and work quality, it is likely to have strong appeal for tourists.

Switzerland and Singapore have figured in the 10 top spots in the annual survey since 2011 and for five years up until the 2019 Singapore held the top spot. This year it drops a rank to second following Switzerland, the newly crowned place for expats to prosper and live.   

This year, Switzerland soared seven places, thanks to expats enjoying an improved quality of life to complement impressive pay and swift career progression.

An impressive 82% of expats in Switzerland have seen an improvement in their quality of life compared to their home country, with its stunning scenery a major contributing factor.

Expats also praise Switzerland’s low levels of pollution, with 70% noting cleaner and more pleasant surroundings than they enjoyed at home. It was far higher than the global average, with only 40% of all expats saying the same.

Switzerland is renowned for its low crime rates and safe streets. Two-thirds (67%) of expats feel more secure there than in their home country. Singapore in second place figured high in these two categories plus it was a favourite for expats raising small children.

Switzerland excelled in financial factors. Higher levels of disposable income are reported by 71% of expats, contributing to an average expat salary of USD111,587, well above the global mean of USD75,966. Expats also note the country’s exceptional levels of political and economic stability. In a year where almost half of the expats globally (49%) are concerned about their country’s financial situation, only 20% in Switzerland have any such reservations, and 86% are relaxed about the country’s political status.

Second place in the table is Singapore, the best destination in the world for expats with children. Over two-thirds (69%) of expats laud their children’s ability to learn languages there, while 62% say the country’s education system is better than in their home country.

In third place, Canada, where expats make the most of increased quality of life and a lower cost of living – 40% of those with more disposable income in their new country have reduced expenses, compared to a 26% global average.

Expats also boast an excellent quality of life in Spain, which has rocketed up 10 places this year to fourth. The majority (58%) of expats see an improvement in their mental wellbeing there, compared to just a third (35%) globally.

Rounding out the top five, New Zealand is an excellent destination for expats who seek a more accommodating work-life balance – 69% note an improvement there compared to their home country.

HSBC’s top 10 places to live and work comprised of Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Germany, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

The inclusion of Vietnam in 10th place made it only the second destination from Southeast Asia to feature in the top 10 alongside Singapore.

Vietnam has a standing policy to raise its ranking in global surveys as part of a campaign to improve awareness and create positive perceptions.

Hong Kong in 15th place was the next highest in the listing followed by Malaysia 16th and India 18th.

Thailand was 22nd and Philippines 24th in the list of 33 countries. China ranked 26th.

The 2019 Expat Explorer is a global survey completed by 18,059 expatriates worldwide as part of research conducted online by YouGov in March and April this year. League tables are calculated using responses to 27 of the questions asked in the study.

A minimum sample of 100 expatriate respondents, including at least 30 expatriate parents is required for a country to be included in the league tables.

League Table (based on 2019 results)

Market

Your criteria

All criteria

Rank

2019

Year-on-year movement:

2018

Switzerland

Group: top

Your criteria rank:1

All criteria rank (2019):1

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):8

Singapore

Group: top

Your criteria rank:2

All criteria rank (2019):2

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):1

Canada

Group: top

Your criteria rank:3

All criteria rank (2019):3

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):4

Spain

Group: top

Your criteria rank:4

All criteria rank (2019):4

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):14

New Zealand

Group: top

Your criteria rank:5

All criteria rank (2019):5

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):2

Australia

Group: top

Your criteria rank:6

All criteria rank (2019):6

 

All criteria rank (2018):6

Turkey

Group: top

Your criteria rank:7

All criteria rank (2019):7

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):24

Germany

Group: middle

Your criteria rank:8

All criteria rank (2019):8

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):3

United Arab Emirates

Group: middle

Your criteria rank:9

All criteria rank (2019):9

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):10

Vietnam

Group: middle

Your criteria rank:10

All criteria rank (2019):10

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):19

Bahrain

Group: middle

Your criteria rank:11

All criteria rank (2019):11

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):5

Isle of Man

Group: middle

Your criteria rank:12

All criteria rank (2019):12

 

All criteria rank (2018):NEW

Poland

Group: middle

Your criteria rank:13

All criteria rank (2019):13

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):25

Ireland

Group: middle

Your criteria rank:14

All criteria rank (2019):14

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):18

Hong Kong

Group: middle

Your criteria rank:15

All criteria rank (2019):15

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):17

Malaysia

Group: middle

Your criteria rank:16

All criteria rank (2019):16

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):15

France

Group: middle

Your criteria rank:17

All criteria rank (2019):17

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):11

India

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:18

All criteria rank (2019):18

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):12

Jersey

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:19

All criteria rank (2019):19

 

All criteria rank (2018):NEW

Sweden

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:20

All criteria rank (2019):20

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):7

Mexico

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:21

All criteria rank (2019):21

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):16

Thailand

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:22

All criteria rank (2019):22

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):21

United States

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:23

All criteria rank (2019):23

 

All criteria rank (2018):23

Philippines

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:24

All criteria rank (2019):24

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):28

Guernsey

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:25

All criteria rank (2019):25

 

All criteria rank (2018):NEW

Mainland China

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:26

All criteria rank (2019):26

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):27

United Kingdom

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:27

All criteria rank (2019):27

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):22

Italy

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:28

All criteria rank (2019):28

 

All criteria rank (2018):NEW

Saudi Arabia

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:29

All criteria rank (2019):29

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):26

South Africa

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:30

All criteria rank (2019):30

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):29

Indonesia

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:31

All criteria rank (2019):31

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):13

Japan

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:32

All criteria rank (2019):32

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):30

Brazil

Group: bottom

Your criteria rank:33

All criteria rank (2019):33

Ranking compared to last year last year:

All criteria rank (2018):31